NELLIE BISHOP by Clara Gillow Clark


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Nellie Bishop's parents are quite a pair: Her greedy, cruel mother and her drunken, gambling father are anxious to give their daughter's hand in marriage to any lout of a canal worker who comes up with a few dollars for them. A 13-year-old in the late 19th century, high-spirited Nellie vows to escape her own dismal future and also to save her sweet, dreamy younger brother Willie, whose prospects are just as dim. Quick wits keep Nellie from the brutish would-be groom Callahan, but Ma is enraged at the loss of the ``dowry,'' and Pa concocts an even more sordid scheme: He auctions Nellie off at the tavern. Help comes unexpectedly when the man who ``wins'' Nellie turns out to be a kind farmer who offers her freedom, help for Willie, and marriage if she so wishes. Clark (Annie's Choice, 1993) models the fast-paced story on events in her own family's past; this well-researched slice of history combines a suspenseful plot with an unusual love story, making this a book readers are likely to cherish. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-56397-491-6
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1995


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